Questions about the nature of commandments or the status of being a commandment. (However, many particular commandments have their own tags.)

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2
votes
1answer
84 views

Why do we still even try to do Sheluach HaKan?

If we don't need the birds' eggs, as they used to, why do we send a mother bird away from her own eggs just to fulfill the mitzvah of Sheluach HaKan? Would the mitzvah even apply if we are doing it ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Sefirat ha'omer as Conditional mitzvah

Are there any other “mitzvot” besides counting S’fira that are cumulative? In other words, if you forget a day of S’fira you can no longer count with a bracha. Are there any other types of mitzvot ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Do you get credit for unintentional mitzvot?

I have heard stories such as A wealthy man felt like abandoning his Judaism and went to the kotel to 'say his goodbyes'. There he saw a chasid davening with such fervor and tears that the wealthy ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Is it a greater mitzvah to return a lost item anonymously?

While of course it is a mitzvah to give tzadekah, I have heard (though I don't have any attribution) that different kinds of giving are of different worth. Particularly, I have heard that giving ...
4
votes
3answers
116 views

Honoring parental requests that don't benefit the parents

If one's parents ask him to do something that is not beneficial to the parents in any way whatsoever (though not harmful to the parents, the child, or anyone else, either), is he nonetheless obligated ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Meditation before Mitzvah activities

Who invented the meditation that is often printed before such things as counting the 'Omer, inviting the Ushpizin, and other Mitzvoth or Mitzvah-related activities, and what is the basis for it?
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Do Jews have to keep the 7 Noahide laws?

Well, I heard that a Jew only has to keep a Noahide law if it's repeated in the Torah, since Jews aren't obligated in Noahide laws. The practical application of this would be an exemption from the law ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Allowing the forbidden for the sake of a Mitzvah

There are a few mitzvot which are effected through the use of that which is specifically forbidden. The first two examples are of tzitzit being made from shatnez and the mei sotah being infused with ...
4
votes
2answers
74 views

Why does the Haggadah tell us that “Even if they are all Chachmim” they are obligated in Sippur?

Why does the Haggadah tell us that "Even if they are all Chachmim..." they are obligated in Sippur? Are ChaChamim excluded from any other Mitzvot? Do they not have to pick up a Lulav because they are ...
9
votes
3answers
190 views

What is the source for the mitzvah of kiruv?

Is kiruv a mitzvah? Is it biblical or rabbinic? Is there any reason it should supersede other mitzvot? what are the sources in chazal and halacha relating to kiruv? related: Kiruv and halachik ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

At what cost must one perform a mitzvah?

To what lengths must one go to fulfill a positive commandment, or avoid transgressing a negative one? Obviously, with few exceptions, one must not go so far as to die in order to fulfill a ...
3
votes
1answer
121 views

How can you keep Shabbos till Tuesday?

I have heard that there are people who keep Shabbos till Tuesday. I would like to understand how that works practically. A few examples of puzzling situations: What shmoneh esrei does such a person ...
3
votes
0answers
74 views

Pretending in kiyum hamitzvot

When a woman (or, if need be, a man) lights candles for Shabbat, she covers her eyes before making the bracha to "pretend" that the candles aren't lit yet because we generally say the bracha before ...
6
votes
0answers
66 views

What defines “on this earth” from a halachic standpoint?

Rabbi Ben-Zion Firrer asked whether Torah Law must be observed in space, since Deuteronomy 12:1 says one should follow the Commandments "all of the days which you are alive on this earth." What ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Wearing pieces from two different sets of tefillin

Tefillin are usually thought of as coming in sets, one for the hand (shel yad) and one for the head (shel rosh). But is there any reason two sets can't be mixed and matched? May one wear tefillin ...
4
votes
0answers
99 views

Matzah Shemurah on the 8th day of Pesaḥ (in the Diaspora)

According to those who hold that there is a Kiyyum Mitzvath 'Aseh DeOraitha (a fulfillment of a positive Biblical commandment) every time one eats a KeZayith (olive size's worth) of Matzah on Pesaḥ, ...
14
votes
2answers
915 views

Can a non-Jew don tefillin?

May a non-Jew or a person who is in the conversion process don tefillin? If not, what are the reasons that they cannot?
2
votes
2answers
143 views

Correspondence between 365 negative commandments and days of the year?

There are 365 negative commandments which correspond to the days of the (solar) year (see Makos 23b; Tanchuma Ki Seitzeh 2). Apparently the prohibition of Gid HaNasheh (sciatic nerve) corresponds to ...
-1
votes
1answer
46 views

Commandments on emotions [duplicate]

I can understand if the Torah commands one to wear tefilin or put on a mezuza. But to command a person not to hate anyone, not to covet anything of anyone, not to bear a grudge, love your fellow as ...
3
votes
3answers
214 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
3
votes
0answers
78 views

Understanding hachnasas orchim

Is hachnasas orchim (welcoming guests) a mitzvah (either of biblical or rabbinic origin)? If not why is it considered more important than greeting the divine presence (bereshis 18:3 Rashi)? Does it ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Honoring a wicked father who has repented - How is he still considered wicked?

The Shulhan 'Aruch (Y"D 240:18) writes that one is obligated to honor his father even if the father is wicked (actually, it says that a Mamzer is obligated, but I believe that the implication is that ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Mamzer honoring his father - why wouldn't he?

The Shulhan 'Aruch (240:18) writes that a Mamzer has an obligation to honor his father. Why might I think otherwise?
7
votes
3answers
351 views

Is 'simcha' a mitzvah?

"Mitzvah gedola le'heyos be'simcha..." many of us have heard this. I am wondering if there is an actual mitzvah to be be'simcha? (I am looking for sourced comments and not just idea's). I know that ...
5
votes
1answer
92 views

Is there an imperative to have a fancy menorah?

Is it considered a meritorious practice to have a fancy/expensive/large menorah? Normally the imperative to beautify mitzvos is related to the mitzvah item itself (e.g. talis, tefillin, esrog), so ...
6
votes
2answers
102 views

Sell the shirt off his back for Menorah, but not for anything else?

Halacha brings that one who has no money for Chanukah Lights must sell the shirt off his back to acquire them why is this the case versus almost all other Mitzvos which require up to a fifth of his ...
4
votes
0answers
61 views

Are you yotzei by lighting candles through a grama?

Does one fulfill the mitzvah of lighting candles (sabbath or chanukah) if done by a grama (indirect action)? Example
3
votes
2answers
171 views

Did Yitzchak not Fulfill the Mitzvah of “Be Fruitful and Multiply”?

According to the understanding of many commentators "pru u'revu" (be fruitful and multiply) is a positive commandment which is not fulfilled unless a man has both a son and daughter as offspring. ...
6
votes
2answers
126 views

Why did Avraham ask Eliezer to swear in the way he did?

Avraham asks his servant Eliezer to place his hand under his thigh to swear an oath regarding finding a daughter for his son. Chazal explain that he asked him to hold his (Avraham's) milah (male ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Dedicating a Mitzva to unborn child

Can a Mitzva be done on behalf of an child still in the womb? I.e can I do a donation to a charity in my name, my wife's and my soon to be +1? If so, in what name would that mitzva be done in as +1 ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?

If masturbation is, as stated in the Shulchan Oruch (Even HaEzer 23:1), "the worst sin in the Torah", then why is it not listed in any of the various lists of 613 Mitzvos and why is there no verse in ...
13
votes
3answers
281 views

Do people have an effect on the mood of God?

If a person commits idolatry or fornication he is sinful. Not only that, but the curse of Hashem is with that person. On the other hand, if a person does a lot of mitswots (commandments) and believes ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Matzah the entire week

Is it the Vilna Gaon who maintains that it is a mitzvah to eat matzah (to eat matzah, in addition to abstaining from chametz) every day and night during the week of Passover, or somebody else? The ...
4
votes
4answers
241 views

Is there a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh?

Is it a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh? (sources)
5
votes
1answer
244 views

sperm donation and p'ru ur'vu

Does donating sperm to a woman who is not your wife (who then goes on to bear children from it) fulfill the mitzvah of p'ru ur'vu? Alternatively, is it a violation of halakha? Does it matter whose ...
4
votes
2answers
255 views

What is the Greatest Mitzvah?

What is the greatest Mitzvah a man can do?
6
votes
1answer
170 views

No mitzvah to wear tefillin every day?

I heard that the Bet HaLevi and the Peri Megadim hold that there is no Mitzva for a person to don Tefilin everyday. Can someone source these opinions and explain exactly what they are meaning to say?
6
votes
1answer
91 views

If a father has to carry his sons aveiros why not his mitzvos?

If a father must carry the sins & punishments of his son (under bar mitzva) as we know he does from the brocha of "Baruch Shepatrani Meonshin shel zeh" does he — and if not, why doesn't he — ...
8
votes
1answer
254 views

Differences between RaMbaM and RaMbaN's mitzvah count

I know both of the Rambam and Ramban listed all 613 mitzvos, and they differ in some (I think like 16ish?) What are the ones upon which they differ? If possible please include why they differ in ...
4
votes
3answers
227 views

Mitzvah of living in Eretz Yisrael

What halachic sources exist affirming the post-destruction mitzvah of individuals to live in Eretz Yisrael, and what is the nature (obligatory, meritorious) of the mitzvah? This question does not ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Sha'atnez and small children

I was sent an email today alerting my community that Sha'atnez has been discovered in a line of baby pants. A quick internet search turned up other baby clothing that has been discovered to have ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

VeNiShmartem - Positive or Negative?

VeNiShmartem Meod LeNafshotheichem (Devarim 4:15), the Mitzvah of self-preservation - requiring that we guard our health - sounds rather proactive. However, it is written with the word ShMR, to ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Killing all of 'Amalek - Mitzvah or Reshuth?

This may be two questions that are closely related. Would engaging in war with 'Amalek without a specific command (a la Shaul) be a Milhemeth Mitzvah or Milhemeth Reshuth? Is killing all of 'Amalek ...
9
votes
2answers
90 views

Is it still tzedakah if it is returned?

If a poor person asks for charity and I give some money to that person, but he then returns it to me, (because he doesn't feel it is enough, or any other reason) have I accomplished the mitzvah of ...
5
votes
1answer
144 views

Where can one get the Pri Yitzchak, a text discussing the 613 Mitzvot

Regarding the Chassidic text written in 1840 entiled Pri Yitzchak that details all 613 Mitzvot and the corresponding 248 limbs for positive mitzvot and 365 sinews for negative commandments. My Rabbi ...
7
votes
2answers
155 views

Why do different people have different levels of mitzvah obligation?

If the point of giving us mitzvot is to allow us to earn a reward in olam haba and to perfect creation (there's all of Jewish philosophy boiled down into 102 characters), why wouldn't all Jewish ...
10
votes
3answers
497 views

Are there required “ritual/daily” prayers in Judaism?

I have a question about the daily prayers of Judaism. I noticed on my trip to Jerusalem that a lot of those practicing Judaism got up at a certain time in the morning on the plane and faced a wall and ...
13
votes
2answers
375 views

Which mitzvah is repeated the most times in the Chumash?

I have learned that not mixing milk and meat is mentioned 3 times in the chumash, and because of this we learn 3 different laws. I also found out today that the law "not to follow the ways of the ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Women and Birchas Hatorah

Why do women have to say Birchas Hatorah they are not commanded to learn Torah as men are?
2
votes
2answers
350 views

Upper limits of “kovea itim”

It is known from the gemara (Shabbos 31a and cited in maamar Toras HaBayis ch. 1, among other places) that when a person dies, he is asked if he had set times for learning. I know that these times can ...